Late last year, I didn't hide the fact that the transition from full-time stay-at-home mom to full-time self-employed writer was a difficult one. It was hard to go from all day kids to no day kids. At first, I remember thinking how the heck am I going to fill six hours every day. Now my thinking is along the lines of" 'holy crap, where the hell did my six hours go today!'. After the initial crash in September, I (right now) have enough work to keep me busy on a steady basis. (I mean, seriously, have you noticed how little I write on this blog these days?)
Working for myself from the comfort of my home has some major advantages. For starters, I get to set my own hours. In my case, it means I start work at 9 a.m., after I drop the kids off at school, and I end at 3 p.m. when it's time to pick them up. Of course, setting your own hours does also mean that you're sometimes working at 11 p.m. after everyone else has gone to bed.
But the same advantage of being self-employed at home is also a disadvantage -- it means I'm at home. And this has nothing to do with me -- I'm very disciplined at home. When I need to work, I work -- I'm not doing laundry or cleaning up bedrooms instead. I'm working. It's just flexible enough that if I want to cook a slow cooker dinner for that night, I can spend half an hour getting it ready while still 'at work.'
No, the trouble with the work-from-home scenario is everyone else. Now I don't mean everyone. Some people 'get it' all the time and some people 'get' it' some of the time. But then there's the some people who don't 'get it' at all. What I mean is they assume that because I'm at home when they're at work, I must not be working -- or at least not that much.
These are the people who assume they can call in the middle of the day just to chat, drop by when they're in town on a random Tuesday, ask me to go shopping (or to the movies or to the art gallery or whatever) with them because they're off work for the day (and yes, I've been asked to go all those places with various people since September). After all, the kids are in school, so I have nothing else to do, right?
To all you people, I want to say this: 'I have a real job. I make a respectable amount of money. I work hard to make that respectable amount of money. I am my own boss and I make my own hours. Some days, I have more time on my hands than other days -- that's the nature of contract work. But more often than not, I spend my entire day working until it's time to pick up my kids from school.'
But to all you same people, what I can do is quick chats on the phone, a text conversation and lunch. In other words, if you would do all those things during your regular work day at your office, than I too do all those things during my regular work day at my office.